Choosing a head pin gauge
18 gauge and heavier are good choices when you want to make a bolder or bigger statement in your jewelry. Disadvantage is you will be limited on the size bead they will go through.
20-21 gauge head pins are sturdy and durable. Use this size on jewelry that will get heavy use. Disadvantage is they are thick so will not fit through regular drilled fresh water pearls, most semi-precious beads and most crystals or Czech glass beads. This size also works well in many designs when you don't want to wrap the top, just loop it down instead. This size works great with lampwork beads.
22 gauge is slightly thinner and works well with most crystals, Czech glass beads, semi-precious and average holed metal beads. This size will also work for lampwork beads but not recommended for large pendant size beads. While you can use it for pendants etc for long term use or if you are selling your finished work, a heavier gauge would be safer. On average this is a good basic size to have on hand.
24 gauge is a light weight head pin. Excellent to use for light weight or light use pieces like earrings, small drops or fine jewelry. This size will fit through crystals, Czech glass beads, most fresh water pearls, generally most any semi-precious. These will also be acceptable for small lampwork beads but recommend using a heavier gauge unless your design just needs the delicacy of 24ga.
26 gauge is a very light weight head pin. This size works well with fresh water pearls. Consider your final use of the piece of the jewelry as this size is very thin and is easily misshapen.
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